A $33 million seaport project is among the infrastructure projects the African Development Bank will be implementing in Cape Verde from 2014 to 2018. Photo by: AfDB
Since shifting to a democratic form of government in 1991, Cape Verde has made considerable progress in strengthening its public systems. The 2013 Ibrahim Index of African Governance ranked the West African country the third-highest in terms of its performance in governance, next only to Mauritius and Botswana. In the same year, Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index found Cape Verde to be the second-least corrupt nation in sub-Saharan Africa.
In terms of strengthening its economy, Cape Verde has also gained ground over the past decade, graduating from the United Nations’ list of least developed countries in 2007. However, the recent global economic downturn and the ongoing European financial crisis have substantially affected the country’s growth, causing a sharp decline in foreign direct investment and tourism — Cape Verde’s top economic drivers.
Data from the African Development Bank shows growth of the country’s gross domestic product has slowed over the past five years, averaging below 4 percent. Further, projected growth levels for 2014 and 2015 are expected to dip further to about 3 percent. While Cape Verde has several trading partners, Europe accounts for most of its imports and exports — an astounding 80 percent and 90 percent, respectively — leaving the country highly vulnerable to the effects of the economic crisis in the region.